Archive for September, 2014


A chance sighting on a dark sidewalk leads to a desire…

the desire wp

 

 

I tried.  I did not succeed but truly, I did try.

When I saw the man striding past, tight anger showing on his face and in the way he carried his body, I turned away, determined not to follow.  But the aura of maleness emanating from him would not allow me to ignore him.  It drew me in.

I slid from the doorway in the alley, slipped out onto the pavement and fell into step behind him.  He was fast but not fast enough, and soon, I had nearly caught up to him.  I was silent but he must have sensed something, intuited that someone was behind him, for he slowed, swung his head around, and peering cautiously into the growing shadows, spotted me.  I did not appear to be a threat to him, a small woman, not very tall, and him a large man of more than average height.  He stopped.

“Are you following me?” he asked, his voice hard edged with annoyance.

“Yes,” I said.  There seemed no point in lying.

He frowned and looked down at me.  “Well stop it!  I’m not in need of what you’re offering!” he snapped, turning to continue on his path down the darkening sidewalk.

I stood there watching him recede into the dimness.  I tried again to turn away, and may well have succeeded, but the man slowed, stopped, and turned.  He stood there for a moment, then, as if coming to some decision, he returned to where I still stood gazing after him.

“Changed my mind,” he snarled.  He reached out and roughly caught my small hand in his large one.  “Come on.  That alley down there will do nicely.”  He indicated the one I had been in when he passed by.

There seemed to be no help for it, then.  I nodded and he strode back down the sidewalk practically dragging me along.

He turned into the alley, pulling me with him to the rear.  He pushed me against the brick wall and began unbuckling his belt, pulling down his zipper.

“How much is this going to cost me?” he asked as he fumbled one hand into his pants to pull himself out.  With his other, he reached to lift my skirt.  Had he not done that, I may still have been able to back away, to resist what I lusted for with my entire body and also what I had no wish to do, but now it was too late.

I raised my face to his, and his eyes narrowed as I said nothing, just stared at him.

“Well?  How much?” he repeated, massaging himself, preparing to thrust as he pushed aside my undergarment.

“Your life,” I murmured quietly as I unleashed myself, rising to my full height and size – which was much greater than his – and I engulfed him before he could scream, my sharp teeth tearing into his soft, succulent, indescribably delicious flesh.

did try.  In the end, as usual, desire won.

End

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Fixing an outage…simple enough for an electronics tech…right?

the tech watpad

Lyda hovered over the darkened sector and extended her ships sensors.  She played the lights across the pillars and towers making them fluoresce in shades of blue when struck.

The tallest and biggest edifice, its large round column rising straight up, towered over the rest before bourgeoning out at the top to form the familiar mushroom shape.  It looked odd.  She increased magnification and immediately saw why.  One of the Lyon pillars at the top appeared to have broken off.

“Going down to the central unit, Rad,” she sent to her controller in Headquarters. “I’ve scanned the area and it looks like we have a broken Lyon.”

“Okay, Lyda, but be careful.  Repairing one of those can be very dangerous.  Wouldn’t want anything to happen to our top tech.”

“No worries, Rad.  Done this before, and I’m always careful.  I’ll be fine.”

She began her descent, reaching the central unit and maneuvering around the spires and intact Lyon pillar to land beside the broken one.  She stepped into the airlock, wriggled into her crawl suit, checked to make sure her tanks and seals were working properly, attached her tools, and hopped out of the ship.

And found right off why the Lyon was broken.

A cryot came rushing around the side of the left-hand spire, sailed over the debris from the crumpled pillar and slammed into her side.  She shrieked as she flew sideways toward the edge of the column but had the presence of mind to activate her grappler, catching herself on a nearby spire.

She could hear Rad shouting in her ear but didn’t have time to answer as the cryot was trying its best to follow up on its initial attack.  She reached into her tool belt, pulled out her torch, aimed at the oncoming assailant and slammed the “on” switch.

The white-hot beam streaked out hitting the cryot in its head as it leaped.  It crashed down two feet away from her and lay there smoking, one of its outstretched claws giving a final twitch as it expired.

“I’m okay, Rad,” she told her frantic controller as she carefully checked the area for more of the metallic creatures.  “Cryot trouble. Don’t see any others but I need to wrap this up fast.”

She set up a detector so she wouldn’t be taken by surprise again, laid out her tools and went to work on the broken Lyon.  One piece was beyond use so she hefted up the defunct cryot, shoved it into the space and tacked it in.  She smiled.  Served it right.  It would also serve as a warning to any others that showed up.

The grid lit up nicely and Rad verified all systems were restored, there was no further damage, so Lyda lifted off and headed for the enlargement chambers.

Rad was waiting for her when she came out restored to her proper size.  He grabbed her and held her tight.  She was their best nano tech, but she was also his wife.

End

A small inaccuracy can lead to a big hitch…

 

moment in time wp

 

Gerald Lansing’s job was making sure all parts were to specs.  Unable to get one piece to calibrate, he looked up the original calculations and found an error, or at least an anomaly.  He made a print-out and went to Prof. Willard, the head of the project who’d made the computations.

“Sir, there’s something I think you should take a look at,” he said pointing to the suspected problem.  “I’m not getting the specified results.  Perhaps someone has made a change?”

“What? Let me see,” said Prof. Willard.  He took the paper.

He scrutinized the figures, crumpled the page and handed it back, frowning.  “I don’t see a problem, and nothing has been changed.  Look, you’re not supposed to be going over these figures.  You’re just a technician.  This type of math is too complicated for you to properly comprehend.  Just do your job and leave the temporal calculations to those of us who’re experts.”  He stalked off.

Gerald sighed.  He’d felt he had to say something, but the professor saw him as only a pair of hands, a servant expected to do exactly as told.  He knew going to any others in the lab would do no good: they never questioned Prof. Willard.  He shrugged, tossed the balled paper into a nearby can, and went back to work trying to set the experimental temporal shifter as specified, finally getting it to more or less agree with the schematics.

The big day arrived.  Gerald’s qualms were allayed by the preliminary trials.  They had gone well.  The temporal shifter worked perfectly, first going back several minutes, then a day, and finally to the previous month.  The lab animals returned unharmed, and the head tech who’d volunteered to do the last test came back satisfied.  He’d landed exactly where he was supposed to on the desired date.

Prof. Willard entered the cubicle and settled himself at the console.  The place and time was set for an uninhabited, open plain in the western United States two hundred years ago.  He started up and watched his instruments.  When the counter stopped, he opened the door, stepping out – and realized something was wrong.

He stared at the landscape, horrified.  Rushing toward him through what appeared to be tall palm trees was a horde of different kinds of dinosaurs.  He dove back in and hit the return switch.  Nothing happened.  The vehicle shook as the animals thundered past on either side.  The sounds diminished and he reopened the door.  A very small animal, the size of a chicken scurried by.

It was hot, the sky a fiery orange.  He looked up and the air was streaked with flashes of light as the rocks kicked up by the giant meteorite strike fell back to Earth.  The destruction that helped wipe out eighty percent of all surface life sixty-five million years ago fell around him.  The last thing he saw was a palm tree silhouetted in front of a huge ball of fire coming straight at him.

End

A trip to the museum can have unexpected consequences…

 

maskedwpcopy

 

“When, exactly, did you begin seeing this dark face?” asked Dr. Huntley, his washed out blue eyes peering through his round glasses at me.

I was reluctant to talk about it, but it had become so disturbing that I had to tell somebody.  It had to be a hallucination so who better to tell than my shrink?  I shifted on the couch, the stiff leather crackling as I moved to cross my legs at the ankles.  I stared at the ceiling.

“It resembles a mask more than a face, Doc.  It showed up a month ago, after my trip to the museum.”

He perked up.  “What did you see at the museum, what exhibits?”

I didn’t want to say it; I knew what he would think, but… “I looked at paintings, and saw the African crafts display.”

“Ah, and what was in the display?”

“Carvings of animals, people, examples of homespun cloth, that sort of thing.  No masks if that’s what you’re thinking.”

He stared at me, then looked down at his notes.  He cleared his throat.

“This…mask, how does it behave when you see it?”

“It just stares, Doc.  It doesn’t do anything.”

“Well, Gerald, I know you’ve been disturbed ever since your accident, so I’m going to give you a prescription for something that will calm your nerves.  Let’s try it for a while, see if it helps.”

I was dubious but I nodded, and he called the prescription in.  I picked it up on the way home from work.

Later, the mask stared at me from the darkened entry hall at home, disappearing when I hit the light switch.  I eyed the medicine bottle.  Take two tablets twice a day with water.  Okay.  I popped two into my mouth, upended the water glass and swallowed.

After a half-hour of TV, I glanced around the room seeing no sign of the mask lurking in any of the dimly lit corners.  The knot in my stomach uncoiled, and I went to bed.

Of course, I’d lied to the doctor.  There were masks in the African exhibit, but I couldn’t tell him about the one that had looked at me, could I?  The dark, elongated one with slits for eyes that seemed to watch me as I stood there; that had smiled at me with a cruel twist to its full lips that had sent a spear of ice down my spine.  I’d fled the museum, relieved once I was outside in bright, cloudless, daylight.  Short-lived relief, because, afterwards, the thing loomed in every unlit spot, every shadow.

Now, a sound awakens me.  Oddly, I can’t move.  I realize I’m in the museum, in the African exhibit room.  A man stands before me.  He looks familiar: he’s my doppelgänger.  Raking me with his cold eyes, he smiles wickedly, knowingly, and exits the room.

Then, I see the mask staring woodenly at me.  It’s a reflection from a mirror on the opposite wall.

If I could scream, I would.

End

 

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